Extra support for families with multiple problems

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE has applied to be in the next round of pilot areas focussing on how to help families across the county with multiple problems.

The County Council has agreed to work with the Government to be a pilot area for Community Budgets (Families with Multiple Problems).

The pilot will build on the Family Intervention Project (FIP) already in place, and will focus on addressing the needs of families who cause expenditure across a range of public sector organisations, and whose problems are multi-faceted and entrenched.

Cambridgeshire has continued to support intensive work with families who may have a range of problems which need a range of solutions. The County Council made the decision at the beginning of the year to continue to invest in intensive family intervention services as a priority, recognising the need to support these families in order to improve their outcomes. The Council is currently consulting on what this investment should look like in the future.

By supporting a coordinated multi-agency approach to problem solving alongside the family it is hoped greater potential costs to a range of public sector agencies will be avoided in the future.

This work is now being taken forward at a County level with partners, with discussions between the County Council, Police, City and District Councils and Health taking place to look at what opportunities there may be to work differently and more jointly with some of the most troubled families in Cambridgeshire.

The Family Intervention Project is part of a range of evidence based programmes provided by the Council and other partners to work with families who need it. It will continue to support the work of the redesigned children’s social care workforce. It also forms part of the work the Council is doing to support working with families before problems become critical.

As part of the next round of Local Authorities piloting Community Budgets for Families with Multiple Problems, the partnership work which has started in Cambridgeshire around the family intervention services can be expected to gain momentum.

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “I am delighted we have agreed to put our name forward for this worthwhile project. It could open opportunities to be linked into a national network of other partners who are already engaged in setting up and running community budgets. Most importantly, it will enable us to build on the good work we have already started to help those families who need it most.”